Statistics And Ethics  

Government statistical agencies conduct their business by coming up with figures required by data users, with adequate consideration paid to the security and goodwill of those that provide the data. All this also needs to be done within certain restrictions imposed by financial constraints, and administrative rules and regulation. Under these circumstances, questions often arise whether or not a certain action is legitimate or falls within the periphery of admissible administrative arrangements; in simple words, whether the action is in line with the policies of the government.

Government personnel in-charge of statistics are also known to consider their work of a scientific nature, because of which they sometimes let their work, which is apparently legal, be excused from further ethical scrutiny. These practices are in violation of laws practiced in many nations as well international laws, like those related to genocide and humanity. Ethical malpractices in gathering of official statistics have even led to drastic consequences, which include genocide. It also jeopardizes the trustworthiness of the agency, since unresolved ethical issues erode away the trust bestowed on the agency by all parties concerned -- data providers or respondents, the general public, and the policy makers.

Once a statistical agency falls from grace due to ethical issues, it may be extremely difficult for it to regain the trust and respect it had commanded earlier. The agency gets a rude jolt of reality and has to face the hard truth that its nature of work or affiliation with the government cannot do anything to protect its reputation. The ethical responsibilities of government statistical agencies are clearly outlined, while the UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics is there to address such issues.

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Statistics And Ethics




What-Is-Ethics      Ethics are those moral values which dictate how a person or a group should behave in civilized society. Ethics basically tell us how we are supposed to live our lives, as well as the appropriate way in which we should treat others. Ethics, according to philosophy, deals with the organized study of morals and the effects that morality has on human behavior. More..





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